City Business Church

It is not by grace that one enters the kingdom of heaven, but by tithing. - Damazio 3:16

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Location: Washington DC, United States

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Gospel of Hank continued...

Hank 13:1-13 “The Tithe Chapter” 1 If I speak the languages of men and of angels, but do not tithe, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not tithe, I am nothing. 3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not tithe to the church, I gain nothing. 4 Tithe is patient; tithe is kind. Tithe does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; 5 does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Tithe never ends. ..13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and tithe. But the greatest of these is tithe

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Gospel According to Hank

Hank 2:18-22 (JPV) Then the American’s demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this business, and I will raise it again in three days." The Americans replied, "It has taken 7 chapters to build this business, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the business he had spoken of was selling the rights to worship God in church.After he started Christian Copyright Co. (C.C.C.), his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed Fortune 500 magazine’s prediction of Jesus’ top 100 ranking. Now there was a man of named Benedict. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Banker, we know you are a entrepreneur who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the business of God unless he tithes every week. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but tithe gives birth to great wealth. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must tithe.' The stock market blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." Jesus taught his apprentice’s saying: "For God so loved the wealth of the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever tithes to him shall not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God did not send his Son into the world to be a middle class employee, but to save the world from wearing K-mart clothing and from being seen driving a Ford Focus. [18] Whoever tithes (regularly) is not condemned, but whoever does not tithe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the LAW of God's one and only Son.

Friday, May 20, 2005

City Bible Tithing Policy

In the past, there has been some debate over City Bible's tithing policy for employees. As luck would have it, I was able to acquire City Bible's employee handbook. Here, written verbatim, is their policy. TITHING Consistent tithing is a requirement for continued employment as a staff member and as part of the ministry team at City Bible Church. Each quarter the giving records of all staff are reviewed. In the event that a staff member is not meeting the requirement, a meeting with Church Business Administrator will be scheduled. If after that meeting, no change has been made the staff member will be notified of possible termination. For further understanding of this vital area please refer to lesson #16 Stewardship from Foundation Truth: Understanding Church Life by Pastor Frank Damazio. Editors Note: You can add "Foundation Truth" to the list of books I have got to read.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

City Bible - Vancouver

City Bible is opening a campus in Vancouver. They will begin meeting Sunday, June 12 at Fort Vancouver Highschool. The service will be led by Larry Wade. Specifically, City Bible asks, "If you live in Vancouver join us as we begin to explore what the Lord has in store for CBC and our third campus." I would love to know how Bob MacGregor feels about this. I know Clark County is the one of the fastest growing counties in the Northwest, but can it accommodate two City Bible clones? Probably.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

City Bible in the News

There's an article in the Statesman Journal, from about a month ago discussing how Evanglicals in Portland are addressing the issue of gays and gay marriage. There are a few interesting quotes from City Bible. Robert Jameson, pastor of administration at the City Bible Church of Portland, said that Christianity calls for welcoming all people. "We don't support gay marriage, but we're not against homosexuals," he said. The different interpretations about what the scriptures say about marriage has to do with the fact that man has applied popular sentiment to the message, Jameson thinks. "People let culture filter through what is right or wrong," he said. "The majority of American Christians -- and Americans for that matter -- believe marriage is between a man and a woman." He ends with this quote: Jameson said the chasm between Christians on the subject is disheartening to him. "One of the most embarrassing things is the inner bickering about what is right and wrong," he said. I suppose it is embarrassing to have Christians argue over right and wrong. But I think he means it is embarrassing when people disagree with City Bible.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Matching Game

Let's play a game. I am going to post three different versions of the same parable from John Chapter 2. See if you can guess which version belongs to which person or church. Your three choices are A) The Well B) City Business C) Catalyst And here are your three different versions of John Chapter 2. Version Number One: On the third day a wedding took place at Rocky Butte in Portland. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his apprentices had also been invited to the wedding. When the water was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more water." "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Near the Well stood six stone wine jars, the kind used for sin and debauchery, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with wine"; They were worried about their image so they filled them in the back where no one could see. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the wedding coordinator." They did so and the wedding coordinator tasted the wine that had been turned into water. She did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then she called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the bottled water first and then the tap water after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Rocky Butte in Portland. He charged the wedding host a large sum and thus revealed his “business sense”. His apprentices were amazed at how quickly he was able to turn a profit. Version Number Two: Jesus has just finished his first miracle, (not only that, it is the 1st ever recorded beer run. Mad props to you JC.) Jesus decides He’s had enough for one night and hops on His donkey headed for home. He is just about there when He hears sirens. Officer of the Law: Messiah, do you know why I pulled you over? Jesus: Of course I do, I’m the Son of God. I know everything. Officer: You were riding your donkey in an oxen only lane. Jesus: Well, you see, Jon the Baptist called and said he was upset. You see he always wanted to be a banker and... oh, never mind. Officer: Jesus, have you been turning water into wine again? Jesus: Actually it’s just grape juice. The water was no good so… Officer: Savior, I’m going to have to ask you to step off that donkey. Jesus: Mother Mary’s the one your really want. She made me do it. I was stuck with that whole “Honor your father and your mother” business. Officer: I’m sorry Redeemer, but the law is the law Jesus: Hey man, I’m Jesus. People know me. I’m kind of a big deal. You see that parchment over there. Yeah, that’s a little book I’m writing. It’s called the Bible. Version Number Three A wedding was taking place, and Jesus and his apprentices had been invited. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said, "We have no more wine." "Hold on" Jesus replied, "There is an uninvited intruder who is harrasing all the guests with "knock knock" jokes. He keeps "mooing" incessantly at everyone. Jesus said to the servants, "Keep an eye on him." Suddenly, there is some commotion in the corner, "Are you kidding me!", Jesus screams. "WHAT THE! What is he doing now?... is he trying to construct a funnel with olive branches? For the love of all that is sacred and holy, tell him you're not supposed to funnel wine." SECURITY! SECURITY ! Luke 7:33-34 (NIV) For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." '

Monday, May 09, 2005

Tithe Club

A close friend of the blog just sent this in: I was busy doing my Saturday research and I wanted to see if there were any new conferences going on at CBC. Much to my surprise there weren’t any new ones, in fact one was missing. The Total Leadership Experience was no longer listed as an upcoming conference. I quickly checked the online church calendar to make sure that it was listed there, but no luck. It looks like the Total Leadership Experience has now become the Secret Leadership Experience. SHHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone but Leadership Uncensored was so hardcore, so hard hitting, so intense that they have to keep it a secret. T.L.E has now gone underground and they’ve added one new event “Tithe Club”. Here’s the secret ad: TITHE CLUB You are not your job. You are not your khakis. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. What happens first is you can't sleep. And what happens next is you meet Pastor Hank. Let me tell you about Hank. He had a plan. In Hank we trusted. Hank says the things you own, end up owning you. It's only after you've tithed everything that you're free to do anything. Tithe Club represents that kind of freedom. First rule of Tithe Club: You do not talk about Tithe Club. Second rule of Tithe Club: You do not talk about Tithe Club. Hank says Tithe might be the answer.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Worst.Blog.Ever.

Word on the street is City Bible is still running around telling everyone this blog is horrible. Which, of course, pleases me to no end. It means they're still reading it. So CBC let me share something: What's really horrible is how many people have left your church, because there is no way to change the church from within. This blog is really just a byproduct of your preaching. But whatever... In keeping with the "Worst.Blog.Ever." theme, let me share a hypothetical knock knock joke between me and Pastor Frank. Catalyst: Knock Knock Pastor Frank: Who's there? Catalyst: Interrupting Cow Pastor Frank: Interrupt- Catalyst: MOOOOOOOOO! Pastor Frank: Catalyst, you're an idio- Catalyst: MOOOOOOOOOO! Pastor Frank: I'm leavi- Catalyst: MOOOOOOOO! (I find this joke works best with those individuals aged 5-11, the immature demographic). (And yes, I'm bored.)

What bitterness means to me.

I have decided that "to be bitter" must mean a person is "intelligent and thoughtful." I come to this conclusion after the numerous times I have been called bitter. If a person disagrees with the church; then that person has to be bitter. Well, I embrace my bitterness, and thank God I am able to think for myself.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Christian Complex

Here is an interesting article by conservative columnist George Will on Christianity and its current role in politics. My favorite paragraph: Some Christians should practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various "assaults" on "people of faith." Christians are indeed experiencing some petty insults and indignities concerning things such as restrictions on school Christmas observances. But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Victim or Villain?

An excellent comment from Samuel John Klein. Quoting a few anonymouses back: Forget all the messages on tithing and faith harvest. Forget all the outward signs of the deep issues at hand. What's wrong is the idea that it's all about the church, it's all about the pastors. Seldom does Jesus actually pop up anywhere. The audacity of the leadership in their arrogance to say that you need a "spiritual covering" apart from the Holy Spirit is simply rediculous. This has it dead on. Occasionally I tune into TBN just to see what's going on there. I don't buy a thing they're selling (don't even get me started about the love gifts) because it's all cheap trash really. Marketing, marketing, marketing. It's the embodiment of what Bonhoeffer described as "cheap grace". And the pastors say it's about the message but, let's be honest, it really isn't. It's about Rod Parsley, Paul and Jan Crouch, it's about Joel Osteen (who just gives me the willies for some reason I can't put my finger on). I don't think this 'blog can hold CBC and suchlike accountable in the fullest sense of the word, but it can in a certain sense of the word. One thing I do not accept is that Catalyst et. al. are insincere Christians with an axe to grind. It's easy to do this, for people who don't fit in or are left dry by what nourishes and is popular with everyone else. It also misses the point and exacerbates with injury, by ignoring the harm and painting the victim as the villain. I don't think Catalyst's complaints are merely the moanings of a troublemaker, because I sense this daily, in the dealings of people I know who are born-again's who get 'done to' in the name of thier pastor and thier church. If circumstances were any different, then maybe. But I get a whiff of decadence as I pass any 'mega' church or slick spiritual marketing or see another televangelist. There are genuine concerns here which, if they aren't addressed, will eventually be disfiguring to every church, by instilling a public sense of cynicism for the practice of faith. It could possibly be fatal to churches. And they won't go away if we mock those who raise conscientious, sincere, and loving objections. I am, though Catholic, aware of the doctrines of "sola fides" and "sola scriptura". Seems, in the case of CBC and its type, it's mutated into "sola pastora (sic)"